How to Winterize Your Roof

Winter is a tough time of year for your roof. Storms, snowfall, high winds, falling branches, ice – there’s a lot to withstand during the winter season! When it comes to your roof, prevention is always better than having to find a cure. No matter how bad the weather gets, you want to be assured that your roof can keep you and your family warm and dry throughout.

To help ensure the ultimate protection during the winter months, we have put together a list on how to winterize your roof:

Clear Those Gutters!

Did you know that clogged gutters are the #1 cause of flooded basements? Over the course of the year, your gutters and downspouts will gather debris. This is especially true at the end of fall, when trees have shed their leaves. Getting rid of anything that is blocking your gutters is a great first step to winterizing your roof. Once ice and snow begin to gather on your roof, the water will need efficient drainage away from your foundation so no damage is caused to your roofing system. Regular gutter cleaning will prevent any build up, ensuring water is not able to settle to cause any mold or decay.

Trim Trees

Are there overhanging branches near your roof? Trimming the trees in fall is a great way to prepare for winter. Branches that continually tap your roof may be causing wear or tear to your shingles. If your shingles are cracked or missing, this can lead to problems once the bad weather hits.

You also want to make sure to cut back weak and damaged branches near your home. The weight of ice or snow settling on trees could cause weaker branches to snap under the weight. Cutting back trees early protects your roof from structural damage caused by falling branches.

Remove Debris From Roof

You’ll want to remove dead leaves, dirt, and any other debris from your roofing system. As the weather turns colder, these piles of debris can gather water and cause water damage to occur to your foundation. When water settles for long periods of time, mold can begin to form and materials can begin to degrade. Removing debris will prevent any damage throughout the winter season, while extending your roof’s longevity.

Check for Pests

It’s not just humans who are feeling the cold as the seasons change… Racoons, mice, squirrels, birds, and bats can all be looking for a warm place to nest when the temperature becomes cooler.

You’ll want to check if you’ve already gathered some unwanted house guests. Check in areas where animals might have found it easy to hollow out a spot. Look for damage to the shingles that may have been caused by an animal looking for a warm space to stay.

If you don’t currently have any pests lurking, do a check to make sure there aren’t any weak areas in your roofing system. You’ll want to ensure passing critters don’t have the opportunity to get into your home this winter! Animal damage can be serious business, and new holes in your roof is not what you’ll want to be concerning yourself with when the weather turns colder.

Insulate Your Attic

Now is a great time to double check your attic’s insulation. Proper ventilation and insulation is crucial for keeping your roof free from ice dams and icicles. These can end up causing serious damage to your roof if left unchecked.

Even better, sorting your insulation will help reduce heat loss through the roof. This should mean your family is warmer and your heating bills are lower. Win-win!

One quick way to tell if your insulation is up to par is to take a look at how the snow is melting on your roof. If you notice a patchy or uneven rate of melt, with some spots melting much faster, this can be a sign of heat escaping through your roof.

Get Your Roof Inspected

As we’ve mentioned before, getting a roof inspection done is a great way to get ready for winter. Having professionals thoroughly check your roofing foundation for any damage will let you know exactly what needs to be fixed before the poor weather sets in.

Consult with Roofing Experts

There are many steps you can take to get a head start on winterizing your roof. Many of these tasks you may be confident tackling them yourself, but always remember to contact a licensed roofing company if you’re ever in doubt of what is best or what needs to be fixed. A & J Reliable, Inc. are the experts in winterizing roofs. With over 35 years of experience in the roofing industry, we’re ready to give you our professional advice to get your home ready for this winter season.